Not gonna lie. I fucking loved this episode! It was definitely a transition episode, existing entirely to set up the upcoming arc. But out of all the setup episodes, this one is easily my favorite! It’s just so damn entertaining!
After Bakugo and Todoroki’s adventures in the remedial classes, Class 1-A returns back to normal and prepares for the next big event in their school life: the school festival! After a day of intense brainstorming, they decide to put on a musical show for the rest of the school to pay everyone else in the school back for the stress the hero course causes them, with Jiro taking the stage as the star. However, not all is well. The recently awakened Eri meets with Deku and Lemillion; in this meeting, it’s made clear that Chisaki’s influence still hangs over the girl like a dark cloud. In an attempt to make her happy, Deku invites her to the festival. Meanwhile, a pair of eccentric villains appear and make their threat known to the police. When their heavily edited crime video doesn’t succeed like they wanted, they make plans to do something even bigger.
In terms of actual plot progression, there really isn’t much going on here. Again, it’s all set up. But there are three things that set this one apart for me!
First is the character interactions. Practically every minute of this episode is spent with the 1-A kids going back-and-forth with each other. This has always been my favorite part of the show and this episode is no different! Seeing how all of these varied personalities interact with each other is an absolute delight! Seeing them put their heads together and try to come to a consensus is wildly entertaining!
Plus, there’s some oddly stellar animation in this section of the episode! Most of it is very limited, typically restricted to simple movements and lip flaps. But some shots, like Ashido break-dancing, are surprisingly well animated!
A ten-second shot of a pink alien girl dancing had more animation than Lemillion’s dramatic final battle. This is the world we live in.
The second thing is Eri. Her scene is an incredible combination of tragic and adorable. On one hand, seeing how this small child knows so little about fun things and has long since forgotten how to smile is super sad. The shot of her trying to force her face into a smile to make Deku and Lemillion happy, while being surprisingly well animated, is super dark! On the other, she is very small and cute and I just want to give her a hug and tell her everything will be okay.
How does My Hero Academia keep making me love children? Stop it! I fucking hate kids!
The third and biggest factor is our new villain: Gentle. I. Fucking. Love. This guy! Unlike Chisaki, who had to earn my favor, Gentle immediately makes an impression! His personality his eccentric and goofy, completely distinct from any villain that came before him! His powers and motivations are both mysterious and intriguing! For the first time in a while, I’m actively looking forward to seeing more of the villain!
Plus, him being a wannabe Youtuber is kind of the funniest fucking thing I’ve ever seen.
This is not an action-packed episode. Nor is it narratively compelling. But it perfectly sets the stage for what is to come while still being wildly entertaining on its own! This is easily my favorite transition episode yet!
Though the bar was pretty low before.